Anorak News | 4p Or Not 4p

4p Or Not 4p

by | 3rd, January 2007

WITH the Rogarians now among us, it is time to appraise their value to the mixture of Celts, Anglo Saxons, and other immigrant stock that make up the vast bulk of the greater British peoples.

And we are a mixture of all colours and creeds. Over two pages, the Mail shines a light on the “UNITED COLOURS OF BRITAIN – A person from every country in the world all living here.”

It’s a decent headline, albeit not strictly true. The Mail goes on to say that it has “traced and photographed” a person from each of the 192 countries that make up the UN, save for two. Are these two immigrants in hiding? And are they a Romanian and a Bulgarian?

But let us not judge the Mail too harshly. It tries. And while it looks for those illusive Rogarians, it also looks for the rest of us.

Are we in London? No. Are we in Newcastle? No. What about Birmingham, Manchester and Bath. No, no and no.

The paper has photographs of streets taken on January 2, 2007: “The day when millions gave work a miss.”

The paper rightly notes that Jan 2, 2007 was officially a working day in England. It notes that the missing millions were not indoors, sat at their desks catching up with their work (opening a vast Christmas backlog of viral emails and risqué Internet jokes). They were in bed. Yesterday, says the paper, was the “greatest national ‘sickie’ in history”.

True enough to say that work is for the working classes, and Britain Plc is fast running out of that sector of staff. Unless, of course, the immigrants want to work hard and do the messy, blue collar jobs for less money?

And surely many of them do. But what are they worth to us? Returning to the opening question: what value is immigration to the UK economy?

The answer is shocking, not least of all for you who employ Latvian waiters, Czech gardeners and Polish builders keen to work harder and for less money than many British employees. Answer: “4p A WEEK.”

The Sun says that’s the “economic boost” each of us gets from migrant workers. And its headline figure is at odds with the Government’s “boast” that immigration swells the economy by £4billion a year. Four pence per week, per head works out at £126million for the 60milion people legally living in the UK.

And to thank for this kernel of fact we have Migrationwatch, an independent organisation that, as its literature says, is “not opposed to immigration that is moderate and managed”.

The Mail says that Migrationwatch takes into account the country’s gross domestic product and how new arrivals add to the population. The result is that migration raises the UK’s GDP by 0.1 per cent.

Says Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch: “The main beneficiaries are the immigrants themselves who are able to send home about £10million a day. Not the host nation.”

So it would be better if the immigrants brought their families and dependents over here and kept the money in the UK?

The other deduction to make is that we all benefit from immigration. It might only be 4p a week, but it is still 4p more than we would have had. And our garden does look so much better…

Posted: 3rd, January 2007 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink